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Pakistan has to vacate PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan: India

Pakistan has to vacate PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan: India
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The only issue of dispute between India and Pakistan as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned is the illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan by Pakistan, the government today said.

New Delhi: The only issue of dispute between India and Pakistan as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned is the illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan by Pakistan, the government today said.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh reiterated Indias demand that Pakistan should vacate illegal occupation of these areas.

Singhs sharp remarks came in response to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit favouring resolution of Kashmir dispute as per the "aspirations of Kashmiris".

Basit was speaking at an event at the High Commission here today to mark Pakistans national day.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Singh said "Today if there is any issue between India and Pakistan on J&K, it is only the illegal occupation by Pakistan, whether it is Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) or Gilgit-Baltistan".

He also added, "How it can be freed from Pakistans occupation and made a part of the Indian republic...that is the only issue now".

Singh said Indias position has been clear for many years now and in 1994, a resolution (on the issue) was also passed in Parliament which all political parties had supported.

Basit had said the aspirations of people "can be suppressed but not quelled and I hope the struggle of the Kashmiris will prove successful".

Kashmir has remained a longstanding unresolved issue between the two countries causing acrimony on both sides.

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